20211213 Paris

Another day of strolling as one would.

Remember that headphones issue.  Well, on the list for today is get a replacement tip.

Knowing I wanted to see La Basilique du Sacré Cœur de Montmartre I started meandering northward, taking pictures all the way.  Distracted by a little indoor outdoor seating area in a pizza bar called Bar Le Paradis, the owner (David) called me in to shoot from the interior.  He’s from Spain (Tortosa).  I took some pictures of him in and around the bar.  I’ll send those later.

We discussed my headphones issue (any sympathetic ear, you understand) and he suggested the trio of phone stores visible from out front of the bar.  I popped in to the first one and they had none.  The second one the guy looked for a bit in the bins of junk that accumulate under the counters (since in places like this folks buy things and leave the bits and bobs behind) and he found a sleeve containing six tips.  Bam!  Freebie.  I also bought an external phone battery for 20e.  Took that back to Paradis to discover it came with a free fisheye attachment for a phone camera. What?!  Ok.  The clip is the wrong size for my phone but I can still use it.  So odd and funny.  Ok.  Fisheye!

Finally back wandering toward the Basilique.  And many pictures on the streets.

Took some pics of a place that was split in two across the street.  They design clothing in one shop and sell it across the street in the other.  I wouldn’t have noticed except a gentleman noticed my taking pictures of the manufacturing side and suggested it might be appropriate to shoot it all.  So I did.

Be nice if my phone would specify which of my steps over the day were stepped on steps.

To enter the grounds there’s a bag check. I presented my bag to the person who asked me to put on my mask (outdoors).  I said “ok, we can do that first” and set down the bag and put on my mask.  He looked at the bag and apologized realizing how silly he’d just been and I again presented my bag.  Surprisingly, I was not a terrorist or smuggling meat on a Friday.

The difficulty in shooting inside these ancient cathedrals is the lack of light.  The look is good but I don’t have a tripod.  It’s a real struggle to get a crisp shot of certain items.  I take a lot of probably blurry pictures.

It was seven Euros to take an elevator to the top to see a panoramic (only five if you’re party is twenty or more!).  And by elevator I mean more stairs.  I talked with an Italian couple and we agreed it wasn’t seven Euros important.

I left the grounds and explored the surrounding streets of Montmartre.  Nearly as many artists selling sketches and caricatures as there were tourists.  All seem talented but I have to look at myself in the mirror so getting a drawing of my face seems superfluous.

I was approached by a mother and daughter from Brazil.  They were looking for a famous cafe and wondered if I could help.  I have Google.  It’s French Google so not quite as good and a little rich, but it can do the job.  Turns out they were looking for the cafe from Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain (sadly the English title is shorted to simply Amélie) which is called Café des deux moulins and which was a nine minute walk from there.

I was pointing them on how to find the cafe and gave up saying “I’m not doing anything at the moment and it’s a nine minute walk; come on”.  So I walked with them down to the cafe.  I took some pictures of them in front of the cafe and will also send those pictures once i pull them off the camera.

I left them to try for Café des deux moulins for lunch.  Looks like a fantastic modern French restaurant.  Notice that across the street is a Chinese place that makes fresh pasta.  Note made.  Continue walking.

Again they are closed.  This is my third attempt.  I talk to a Spaniard who lives above.  He says he thinks they look and smell fantastic but in three years he’s never eaten there and guesses they keep irregular hours.  He will send me a text if he sees them open within the next seven days before he returns to Spain for the holidays.

Fine.  Noodles it is.  I walk back to Délices Lepic for a bowl of duck and noodle soup with a side of something like sweet and sour pork which is not bright pink and has no pineapple.  I notice they also make their own dumplings so I might try for getting a batch at some point.

Walk across the street to have a closer look at the famous cafe.  it looks like it looked except for some posters relating to the film.  Order a hot chocolate at the bar.  Talked with a group of Italians from Torino who came into the cafe.  The shy daughter was fascinated with me but was very shy.  I showed here how to push the camera button and she took pictures of her dad much to her delight.  I took some pictures of her.  Now I have another person to send pictures.  He paid for my hot chocolate.

After some time a drunk flamboyant arrived, ordered white wine, and talked loudly on the phone in something slurringly northern (Finish?  Swedish?  Bad French?).  He proceeded to hit on me, which I politely sidestepped.  Repeatedly.  Until my patience expired.  In the end he did back off but being that his style was creepy (think dysfunctional and abusive) and he was still next to me at the bar I decided to hit the streets again.

(And to all the ladies thinking “yeah, been there”, I get it.)

As if to lift my spirits two separate female prostitutes wanted to chat me up on the street.  Thanks and also no thank you.

More pictures of found curiosities.  Eventually stopping at Le corail.  It’s a pretty typical restaurant and bar at the corner.  They had bavette steak, which is a French cut similar in qualities to the flank or hanger steaks.  And, true to it’s descriptions, it’s quite similar to the flank steak:  grill it quickly and cut it on a bias.  It came with a shallot sauce, garlic green beans, and a simple salad.

Maybe I should have tried one of the tartars but I’d been trying to find bavette in the states for some time.  It’s a French cut (sometimes called flap meat or flap steak) and I don’t recall how it gets distributed in the American butchering.

Walked back toward Neko Ramen to meet Edgar after work at half-past eleven.  Sat at Faubourgs 34 drinking Ricard.  Chatted up two German ladies from Köln.  One is a student of German law. She says the German law students have it much harder than the Americans.  Maybe she’s right.  She described the requirements for becoming an attorney and it does have a lot of detailed steps.

The said they were disappointed with the Christmas villages in Paris insisting the Christmas villages in Germany were much better.  They talked a lot about the mulled wine.  I’ve never had mulled wine but maybe mulled wine at a Christmas village in Köln is a grand experience.

They did recommend the village at City Hall, the French name of which escapes me now.

Edgar arrived immediately after the Germans departed.  We talked about this and that.  Eventually a trio of Frenchmen arrived next to us.  We chatted with them until the bar closed.  They were from Breton.  One was drinking a Parisian Porter.  I took a picture of the label to find some.  He said it was just ok.  I can at least look up the brewery.

They Edgar and I departed apart and I walked the five or six minutes back here to sleep again.  Although it’s almost four and I’m still awake.  I did nap briefly with this lappy prone on my belly and propt  on a pillow.  But, you know, suffer for your art or something… you can fill in the details.


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